The Jolly Boys take musical journey to TV Image

by Biko Kennedy

Vintage mento band, The Jolly Boys, has truly stand the tests of time and remained one of the very few entertainers who'll attempt to keep the genre alive. It's with this that they turn to the silver screen to tell their captivating story.

After years of filming, the 13-episode series hit TV screens on Sunday, September 15th on local TV station CVM TV with live streaming capabilities (only for Jamaica for the moment) and is scheduled for international release later this year.

Director/Producer of the series and Managing Director of Geejam Media, Rick Elgood, is especially excited that the show has begun airing, having started the filming process back in 2010.

"I've been on the road, managing for the band, and 2010 was the first tour. I started shooting as Albert (Minott) was about to get on the plane, his first time flying. The idea came to me that these guys had never left Port Antonio, and here they are going on tours in their 70s. It was just extraordinary how this turned out," he told The Gleaner, noting that he completed filming for the first series and he has already started the filming process for a possible second season.

The single season show is a lead in to their upcoming feature film It's Never Too Late which is scheduled to be completed later this year. Despite not having any acting experience, he said the members of the group were quite the characters on camera.

"They are used to being on stage and in the spotlight. Albert is kind of a show man. He strikes his poses and he is pretty cool on camera," Elgood said noting that there were times when the men were totally oblivious of the camera and their story came to the fore.

"It's got its highs and lows. There were moments of tension, and there were many joyous moments," he said.

Elgood added that there are many elements to the Jolly Boys' story which will make people like the TV show. He said many persons will be able to associate with the idea of going abroad for the first time. Persons, Elgood said, would also go on a musical journey with the Jolly Boys, one that began when the Jolly Boys were already in their 70s.

Universal Appeal

"It works on many levels. That's why people of different age groups and walks of life will appreciate it. I think what will happen is that many people will fall in love with the whole thing and find it funny and aspirational," Elgood told The Gleaner.

Elgood added that he is also very grateful for sponsorship from Red Stripe and Western Union.

"Sponsorship issue, that was difficult. It's not the run-of-the-mill talent show or talk show. This is something that breaks the mould. We've been lucky in that Red Stripe and Western Union came in to support us," he said.

"Over those years, we were in the hotel preserving ourselves and preserving mento. We wasn't making anything, we were just working for bus fare. But we still keeping on in the hotel preserving and entertaining the people dem," Minott, the lead singer for the band, told The Sunday Gleaner.

Minott also hopes the docudrama and reality TV series will make Jamaicans more aware of the band, as well as Jamaica's musical history.

Here's what to expect in each episode:

SHOW 1: This initial show introduces the older characters and originators of 'The Jolly Boys' , it looks at their history giving the viewers an idea and understanding of  traditional mento music. Albert Minott the lead singer goes on his first trip by plane to London and paris to visit his record company.

SHOW 2: This show brings the audience closer to the main characters as the full band embark on their 1st tour. The show comprises a worldwind of shows up and down the country.

SHOW 3: The band are invited to pay a show  in the Maldives a series of islands in the Indian ocean, it  takes 2 days of flying to get  to this 5* getaway for the rich and famous with it's tagline of 'No Shoes, No News' . The viewers will get a sense of how everyone operates and some of the problems they encounter.

SHOW 4: They are back on the road again for their 2nd tour this time throughout Europe.

SHOW 5: Another promotional TV show tour this time it is in France, with only half of the band.

SHOW 6: This might be the longest tour for the band and guess what?!  It's winter! So many things happened on this tour, from being stuck in the airport right back to the tour bus being involved in an accident.

SHOW 7: 'In NY, concrete jungle where dreams are made of. 'The Jolly Boys' want a piece of the  Big apple.

SHOW 8: The Jolly Boys are in Hollywood. The viewers will now see new characters and sense tensions within the band.

SHOW 9: Back in NY for a 'HIRO' moment. The Jolly Boys want to make a mark in the USA and they're hoping they can do that with their 2nd appearance in NY.

SHOW 10: 'The Jolly Boys' have been invited to perform at 'The American Friends of Jamaica' event in Miami with Shaggy.

SHOW 11/12/13: The band hit the road for their longest and biggest our ever, playing large auditoriums and stadiums up to 10,000 people, culminating in the London 02 arena a complete sell out to a crowd of 20,000.

Original article from the Gleaner:

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